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Yamuna River's Rising Water Leads To Gridlock And Flooded Roads In Delhi

 Delhi Flood Alert

Understanding the Crisis and Ensuring Safety

Jul 13, 2023

Factors Contributing to this Flood-like Condition 

The heavy rain in Delhi and the surrounding areas, combined with the release of water from the Hathni Kund Barrage in Haryana, are the primary factors behind the current flood-like conditions in parts of the national capital. However, experts suggest that other factors may have also contributed to the crisis. 


Delhi Flood Alert

According to a senior official at the Central Water Commission (CWC), the water released from the Hathni Kund Barrage reached Delhi faster than in previous years. This could be attributed to encroachments and siltation, as the water now passes through a constricted cross-section, leaving less space for its flow. The barrage, located in Yamunanagar, Haryana, approximately 180 kilometers from Delhi, takes around two to three days for the water to reach the capital. 


Manu Bhatnagar, Principal Director of the Natural Heritage Division at the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), identified extreme rainfall in a short duration as the primary reason for the swollen Yamuna. He explained that if the same amount of water falls over a longer period, it would not lead to such a situation as it allows more time for the water to pass through. However, when a large amount of precipitation occurs within a shorter duration, it results in a higher water level downstream. 

Delhi Flood Alert


Bhim Singh Rawat, associate coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers, People (SANDRP), highlighted the significant silt accumulation and elevated riverbed as major contributors to the unprecedented rise in the Yamuna's water level. Numerous mid-stream sandbars have formed due to the obstruction caused by over 20 bridges within the 22-kilometer river stretch from Wazirabad to Okhla. 

Impact on Delhi and Measures Taken 

The rising water level of the Yamuna has led to flooding in several areas of Delhi, causing inconvenience to commuters. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged people living in close proximity to the river to avoid affected routes. He also requested cooperation from the residents of affected areas and emphasized the importance of saving lives during this emergency. 

Delhi Flood Alert

In response to the deteriorating situation, the Delhi administration has imposed prohibitory orders, and 12 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on the ground for rescue operations. Chief Minister Kejriwal has called for intervention from the central government, and Section 144 of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) has been imposed in flood-prone areas by the city police. 



Delhi is currently grappling with an extreme flood situation as the water levels of the Yamuna River continue to rise. Heavy rainfall, coupled with factors such as siltation, encroachments, and obstruction from bridges, has contributed to this crisis. The authorities, including the government and disaster response teams, are working tirelessly to mitigate the situation and ensure the safety of the affected residents.

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